Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 6, 2013.

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I should have died, but didnt. Now following my dream to bring my music to life and making an album of my own #secondchance #noregrets

With 2 days left, we are under $1,000 away from our stretch goal of $17,500!!

At $17,500, EVERYONE who donated $4 or more will get the gift of two additional songs that you won't be able to find on the album or anywhere else!

Every Day and Kimberly are some of my favorite songs that I've written. While I'm pretty proud of them, there's just no place for them on this album However, if you share this project with your friends and help us reach $17,500 you get high quality digital downloads of both songs AND a limited edition 7 inch vinyl of the two tracks!

About 13 months ago, I fell of an overpass onto busy highway traffic. And survived.  

I woke up in the hospital with a broken left knee, two broken ankles, a broken right heel and calcaneus and tibia plateau fracture, some broken ribs and a broken skull. I was riding my motorcycle, and got ejected over the handlebars, off of the highway I was riding on, and landed in traffic on the highway below. Somehow I didn't die. 

Here's the news story from the day of my accident:  

I woke up very confused and in pain. They told me I'd be in the hospital until maybe July. My memories of the time are very jumbled because I had a traumatic brain injury as well. I was a mess. 

I remember being in the hospital thinking that I need to make this album, even if no one bothered hearing it, even if it didn't mean anything to anyone but me. If I had died without making it, that would have been the one thing I really regretted, and I couldn't stand the thought of dying with regrets. 

I got transferred to St. David's Rehab on April 9th, about a month or two ahead of schedule and was supposed to stay there until June or July. I was a quick and determined learner so they discharged me on April 21st. I had learned everything I could do with the injuries that I had sustained and they couldn't teach me anything more until my legs could bear weight. 

This was when things got really hard. I was basically trapped in my house. I couldn't walk, I couldn't even shower myself. I was alone a lot. NPR was my constant companion and I had a good group of friends and choir parents who made sure I didn't lose it entirely. 

It's crazy to think how different things are today when 9 months ago I couldn't even go to the bathroom by myself. 

I almost died. Now I want to live and make songs come to life on stage and in the studio. 

When people say, "Wow, what a horrible experience", I really can't argue. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. But I did learn a lot from it. I'm healthier because of it and understanding about what limitations can do to someone.  I'm more patient, and more aware of how fragile this life really is. 

I'm really glad to be alive, and I've worked really hard to get healthy again so I can keep teaching and sharing my music. I played my first show a few months after the accident just after I graduated to the walker from the wheel chair.  Now I can carry my own gear to gigs and recording sessions. 

You can hear the demo recordings i've been working on at the high school I work at. I teach choir, history of rock and songwriting and recording. 

You can listen to all of the demos HERE.  I played and sang everything and the demos were done on an mbox with some cheap mics.  Needless to say, these recordings are just a fraction of what I can create with your support. 

I'm going to make this album. 

I just have to. If this kickstarter doesn't work, I'm going to do what any sane person who nearly died but didn't would do: I'm going to clean out my retirement and make it happen. I hope I don't have to do that, and maybe I shouldn't have told you... I just wanted to illustrate that I'm dead serious about making this record.

I hope you like the songs enough that you'll want to donate and tell your friends to support this effort. $10 gets you the whole album when it's done in July. I promise to make the best piece of art I can make. 

Part of your donation will help bring Ken Stringfellow on as producer of my album! 

Ken has played in great bands like The Posies and REM, and he has the ability to take my album to a whole new level. You can read up on his AMAZING list of credits HERE

I'm usually pretty busy playing on other people's albums and projects, and  that's how it's been for a lot of my life. I've done a lot of studio recording, including some bass work for the Bone Thugs N Harmony album. I've also played in more bands than I can count.  One of those bands, Liquid Soul, was nominated for a grammy. 

Now I'm taking the time to make my own music a priority.

I think the fact that Ken Stringfellow is making time in his ridiculously full schedule to work on my album is a testament that I'm a pretty good musician capable of putting together a solid solo album. 

Thank you so much for your support,

Phil Ajjarapu

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The $15,000 already raised will go towards:
-Ken Stringfellow's time for production, engineering, mixing
-Recording studio time
-Compensation for musicians playing on the album
-Mastering of the album by Mike Hagler (he did The Redwalls Universal Blues, one of my faves, and was an engineer on Summerteeth!)
-Vinyl press through urpressing.com

If we reach our stretch goal of $17,500, the additional $2,500 will go towards:
--Recording, engineering, mixing, mastering 2 additional songs not on the album.
--Pressing the limited edition 7inch vinyl of the 2 bonus tracks
--Radio air time to spread the word about the album

The record will be recorded in mid July for approximately 10 days. The demos are currently being sent back and forth for pre-production discussion, the musicians are getting together for rehearsals, and charts are being written.

We're anticipating:
-- 2 days of basic rhythm tracking
-- 6 days of overdubs with (couple of emergency days built in for good measure)
-- 10 days of mixing.

As a professional musician who has worked on many albums, I am confident that everything has been accounted for up to the point where the album is sent to get pressed. Potential delays might include a backlog of vinyl cutting at URP, but I highly doubt it.

Now that the album has officially been funded, I am exceedingly confident that everyone will be enjoying their mp3s or vinyl by the fire at christmas. But not too close to the fire, wouldn't want the vinyl to melt or warp.

Sincerely,
Phil Ajjarapu

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    1 backer

    I'll mail you a nice thank you note, because every dollar counts. It's not how much you pledge, it's that you thought enough to pledge at all, and it means alot to me.

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    6 backers

    download of 3 finished songs in High Quality MP3 from the album RANDOMLY chosen by the Wheel of Fortune. Oh the suspense.

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    3 backers

    Either Side A or Side B of the album in high quality MP3 format. 5 songs that are meant to be near each other... but which half will be yours? To be determined by coin flip. We'll use a special coin like a susan b. anthony dollar or something like that.

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    111 backers

    High quality MP3 download of album.

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    87 backers

    High quality MP3 download of album including all demos involved in the recording process, even songs that don't make the cut.

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    77 backers Limited (923 left of 1000)

    Vinyl Record, and High quality MP3 download of album including all demos involved in the recording process, even songs that don't make the cut. Tshirt in your size to commemorate the album.

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    37 backers Limited (13 left of 50)

    Limited test pressing of album. Hand numbered through 50, with some TBD special artwork done by an actual artist. Plus all the download previously mentioned. Courtesy of United Record Pressing. I'd encourage you to use them, you can read more about the deal here. http://www.urpressing.com/crowdfunding/ If you click on that link, you'll see that they're offering those test pressings up to 50 for donations of 50 or more, but I'm really going to do my best to make these 50 records a special piece of visual art as well. Tshirt in your size to commemorate the album.

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    9 backers Limited (3 left of 12)

    Standard vinyl copy of the album, plus downloads. Cover song of your choice recorded for you with a minimum of guitar/voice or piano/voice, and potentially much more. Consider the possibilities, there's the ever popular Happy Birthday. Maybe the classic, "Anthony's Song (Movin' Out)" to commemorate your high schooler finally leaving for college. Could be you need something recorded with an Indian accent all in present tense for those days where you just need a pick me up. Well, I am that unscrupulous Indian that thinks his parent's accent was sent from heaven for just such a divine purpose. Just let me know what you want, and we can work out the details. Tshirt in your size to commemorate the album.

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    1 backer All gone!

    1987 Alvarez Yairi Cedar Top Grand Auditorium. It's the guitar I've had for the past thirteen years, and I've written most of the album on it. It's definitely worth less than that on the market (probably in the $700 range), but it's worth more than that to me. Equipped with a Fishman Rare Earth Humbucking soundhole pickup. You could definitely spend that much and get a much crappier guitar. Ask my guitar friends. This you can get as soon as the album is done, in case she makes it on to the album. I hope she does, we've been through a lot, and I don't really want to see her go, but I do have another guitar. I'm not sure why I can't specify a shipping price on this one, but let's call it $65 to make sure she's insured and packed well and gets to you safely.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Yamaha CP-70 B electric grand piano. This one's a doozy. She will not ship. I won't ship her. You'll have to come to sunny austin to get her. But I'll make you breakfast and coffee. This is the same model of piano popularized by many artists from the seventies such as Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Billy Joel, and current artists such as Keane, The Delta Spirit, Coldplay, and others. You buy it, you come and get it. Man, I don't really want to sell this one either, but I really want to make this album. This is like if a Rhodes had a string harp that latched on top. Again, you can pick it up after the album is tracked. She will most definitely be on the album. I think. WARNING: YOU'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING THIS BEHEMOTH WHERE IT'S GOING.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    I come and play a solo house show for you and whomever you would like. You can sell tickets to recoup your costs, and I'll just take merch sales or something. Preferably over my christmas break, spring break, or summer break. Gotta teach the kiddies. I'd prefer to drive, and is it all right if we split the gas? And is it all right if I bring my dog, Molly? She's adorbs. We can sleep in my Honda, or bring a tent or something. Hopefully no one is allergic.

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    0 backers

    Just like the $2500 pledge, except I cook a 4 or 5 course menu you for your guests before the show. Again, you can charge tickets, and I'll try and sell some merch. We'll discuss menu before hand. We'll need a kitchen obviously, somewhere to serve food, and you'll be responsible for ingredients, but again, charge what you want out of your guests. Same time restrictions apply so I don't miss out on the day job filling tomorrow's leaders with esoteric knowledge today.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    You'll get a: -Yamaha YC-25 Dual Combo Organ -with a real Leslie Proline 330. -an all wood hand carved German made pre WWII double bass (upright bass, doghouse bass, bass fiddle, you get the idea - an EMCI SD10 E9 pedal steel guitar with Keal Flight Case - a 1976 Music Man RD 112 50 watt tube amp with flight case - an Alamo Embassy tube amp - A hand numbered Mark Sampson Star Nova 5 watt class A tube amp (the man who made Matchless and Badcat amplifiers legendary) - A Gold Tone SM Weissenborn with soundhole pickup and OHSC. - A Gold Tone OB250 Banjo with soft case -Tama Starclassic birch kit with cymbals and hardware You also get a beginning lesson on each instrument. What, you don't want to learn how to play the pedal steel guitar? I'll also throw in my turntable, two speakers, and my entire vinyl collection, and one copy of my album so you can hear it exactly the way I would have if you hadn't bought it. Well, that's it. Nothing left, and almost everything must go. After the instruments are used on the album that is. You're probably going to need a box truck to move it all, and again, you're responsible for moving it. I won't be of much help after this whole nearly dying thing. If you want to know what happened, watch this. http://gma.yahoo.com/video/austinkvuetv-15750583/miracle-on-mopac-28740291.html and that's not the half of it. Again, you can pick up these instruments after the album is tracked. What the hell, I'll throw in a Sitar, and a harmonium. The tablas too if I can get them back from my friend.

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Funding period

- (21 days)